Overview of Women and Addiction

  • Florence ThibautEmail author
Reference work entry
Part of the Mental Health and Illness Worldwide book series (MHIW)


Women are gradually losing the protection they had from historic social roles. In general, girls and women seem more influenced by beliefs about weight control and self-image as well as by female friends or role models when they use alcohol or tobacco. As compared to men, women more often use psychoactive substances to cope with stress and negative feelings. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics differences, reward process specificities, and female hormones play a major role in gender differences observed in addictive behaviors. Therefore, health consequences differ. Finally, women’s consumption of psychoactive substances may be associated with serious birth and developmental consequences in babies exposed during pregnancy.

Further research is needed, especially concerning treatment features according to gender.


Women Addiction Alcohol Tobacco Illicit drugs Pregnancy Gender 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and AddictionUniversity Hospital Cochin (site Tarnier), Paris University, INSERM 1266, Institute of Psychiatry and NeurosciencesParisFrance

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